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Why Shares of Teladoc Health Are Up This Morning

By Jason Hawthorne – Oct 13, 2021 at 1:21PM

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A big investor is betting on a rebound.

What happened

Shares of Teladoc Health (TDOC -0.23%) were up about 2% today as of 12:55 p.m. EDT after ARK Invest's Cathie Wood bought more shares of the beaten-down virtual-care provider yesterday.

A patient holds a mobile tablet while conducting a virtual care visit.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

It's a vote of confidence in a stock that is down 54% from its high near the peak of the pandemic. Shares traded above $300 in mid-February and currently sit about 10% above their 52-week low. Wall Street has turned from sanguine to skeptical after the first two quarters of the year have produced only 1% member growth compared to last year. Of course, last year was unusual to say the least. 

TDOC Chart

TDOC data by YCharts.

Three of Wood's funds -- ARK Innovation ETF (NYSEMKT: ARKK), ARK Fintech Innovation ETF (NYSEMKT: ARKF), and ARK Genomic Revolution ETF (NYSEMKT: ARKG) -- added a combined 198,000 shares yesterday. It continues a trend Wood established in late September. Since Sept. 21, ARK Invest funds have purchased more than 1.7 million shares of Teladoc without making a single sale. 

Given the influence Wood has, it could mark a turning point for momentum in the stock. Daily volume has been climbing since she started picking up shares last month. The upcoming third-quarter report could add to the momentum. 

Now what

Investors will be looking forward to those results at the end of this month to determine if member growth reaccelerates. Expenses associated with last year's purchase of Livongo have also made it difficult to get a sense of the company's potential steady-state profitability. Those might finally roll off of the year-over-year comparisons.

Management has pointed to rising amounts paid per member -- a function of the number of different services a customer signs up for -- as the key to growth in the near term. So far, investors aren't happy with that. ARK Invest could be betting that is about to change.

Jason Hawthorne owns shares of Teladoc Health. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Teladoc Health. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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